The exhibition will be on both floors of the gallery; Light on the fourth-floor gallery and Dark on the third-floor gallery. The exhibition will bring together works by gallery artists that focus on these elements, making associations and drawing parallels between their works.
Two of the most fundamental principles any artist faces are those of light and dark. Throughout the history of image-making the mastering of the contrast between light and dark is central to reproducing any image on paper or canvas. Artists have gone further to investigate the very nature of light and dark, employing a range of media as more and more materials become available.
From the earliest onset of technological breakthroughs, artists have sought to use and exploit technology, particularly the advances in artificial light. Artists in this exhibition use electric light and neon in their works from as early as 1968 (Katsuhiro Yamaguchi, Light sculpture ‘Flash’, 1968) to contemporary works (François Morellet, 5 néons au hasard de Pi, Nº1 (Nº16035) 2016/17). Elsewhere, artists such as Roger Ackling focus on nature’s light and explore the effects of the sun, etching patterns into the wood’s surface with magnified sunlight. Meanwhile, Yuko Shiraishi’s ‘Emerging White Square (2)’ 2000 investigates the subtle light of white paint on canvas.
Dark is the absence of light and is only made visible in black. The works in this part of the exhibition are concerned with artists embracing, exploiting and exploring the darker shades of colour and the absorption of light. Alan Charlton, for example, has made minimal paintings in various hues of grey for over 40 years, allowing the works to be “pure, simple, silent, honest, absolute” (Alan Charlton) whilst David Nash’s charred works return the wood to their mineral state, reducing them to carbon with a beautiful, deep black surface.
The diverse works in this exhibition span decades of exploration of the dichotomy between lightness and darkness as well as their interrelationship. Light is not possible without dark and through the range of media in this exhibition, we are faced with the presence or absence of light and its effect on our everyday perception.
A full list of artists exhibited is as follows: Roger Ackling, Alan Charlton, Lesley Foxcroft, Gloria Friedmann, Stefan Gec, Philipp Goldbach, Alan Green, Nigel Hall, Werner Haypeter, Jürgen Klauke, Darren Lago, Edwina Leapman, François Morellet, David Nash, Lucia Nogueira, Edda Renouf, Yoshishige Saito, Yuko Shiraishi, Katsuhiro Yamaguchi.